Lung cancer diagnostic developer Biodesix is partnering up with MRM Proteomics to license its iMALDI automated assay technology for quantifying proteins using mass spectrometry, with the goal of enabling precision therapies.
Under the deal, Biodesix plans to use the tech to help develop its blood-based lung tests—focusing on profiling the proteins and drug targets involved in the body’s larger immune response to cancer instead of the genetic alterations that may drive the growth of tumors themselves.
“Biodesix is a natural partner for our proteomic technology, because they are committed to a multi-omics approach to reveal a more complete molecular profile of lung cancer in the body,” said Christoph Borchers, MRM Proteomics’ chief scientific officer.
“We believe that this partnership will produce much-needed advances in the proteomic space and lead to more precise lung cancer diagnostic tools that can help guide treatment decisions,” Borchers added. The British Columbia, Canada-based MRM Proteomics was spun out of the University of Victoria-Genome BC Proteomics Centre in 2010, a mass spectrometry provider and a central hub for the Pan-Canadian Proteomics Centre.
The company’s iMALDI technology is also being used help identify multiple forms of a protein targeted by a precision therapy candidate from AstraZeneca, in a variety of tumors. The Big Biotech’s anticancer drug AZD5363 inhibits all isoforms of AKT, and interrupts the mediation of cell processes such as division and the metabolism of glucose and fatty acids.
MRM Proteomics’ approach involves tagging proteins with isotope-labeled peptides, alongside antibodies linked to magnetic beads, before being analyzed with mass spectrometry.
“Elevating the importance of proteomics in revealing the full complexity of cancer is critical to getting patients the right treatment at the right time,” said Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton.
In July of last year, Biodesix made its first acquisition with its purchase of Integrated Diagnostics and its XL2 lung cancer blood test, which aims to rule out patients that do not need to have a biopsy performed following the discovery of a suspicious lung nodule.
The XL2 test—which is currently gathering patient data through a registry program ahead of a wider, planned commercial launch—joins Biodesix’s VeriStrat and GeneStrat proteomic, genomic and mass-spectrometry-based tests, used for therapeutic guidance in later-stage lung cancer patients.
“Our goal is to continue to develop products that can fit in different positions throughout that continuum of care,” Hutton told FierceMedtech in an interview. “We want to be opportunistic and pursue anything we can within lung cancer.”